In Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, there is an etiquette column, hosted by a lady called Magdalena Ribbing. The good people of Sweden send their collected worries and anxieties to this lady, in search of answers and advice. The questions that are causing the country to stay awake at night, fretting furiously, include the following:
1) Is it OK to blow your nose at the dinner table?
2) How do I eat pizza, with my hands or with a knife or fork?
3) What kind of hat should I wear to an English wedding?
4) Can ladies wear brown shoes after 5 o’ clock?
5) When may one start eating?
I haven’t made these up, I swear. Find them, and many others, here (all in Swedish, naturally) –
My answers would be:
1) Yes, but only if you offer some to the host.
2) With a straw, while waiting for surgery
3) One of those ones with space for 2 beer cans.
4) Only if they sprinkle salt on them and speak in tongues
5) When Paris Hilton had finally buggered off home
To me, these pleas for help sounds like the desperate call of a land that has lost its way, a population that hasn’t a clue how to think for itself. If you are not sure whether or not you should whip out your todger at the dinner table and dip it into the soup of the lady sitting next to you, then I think you should do us all a favour and just stay at home.